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Best Stewards in Skyrim (2024)

Choose a follower with the skills to defend your homestead

Skyrim’s Hearthfire DLC adds a whole new element of immersion to the game in the form of customizable households. No longer are you restricted to the houses earned by doing favors for the Jarls of each city — instead, you can purchase your own property and build your dream home. Someone needs to take care of your household while you’re away adventuring, though, which is where stewards come in. I’ve ranked the best stewards by their protection prowess below.

Stewards provide a variety of services, from protecting your home to ordering supplies and furnishing. To help you pick the best household manager in the frozen north, I’ve put together this list of the best stewards in Skyrim!

Preface

The Best Stewards in Skyrim
Bethesda Game Studios / Ariana Honavar-Hiro

While stewards serve a variety of purposes in your household, the only thing you really need to worry about when choosing the best steward in Skyrim is how well they’re able to defend your home. Any steward you pick up will be able to order building supplies, purchase animals, decorate your house, etc. Not all of them will have the skills and equipment needed to take on giants and bandits!

My ranking is based on how well your steward can protect your household. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

10/10

Uthgerd the Unbroken

First up on my list of the best stewards in Skyrim, I have Uthgerd the Unbroken! Uthgerd is a Nord Warrior found in The Bannered Mare tavern in Whiterun. She is a great choice for a steward because of her warrior skills and ability to fend off enemies. 

Uthgerd’s Level ranges from Level 6–30. She’s an experienced fighter with proficiency in both One-Handed and Two-Handed weapons, which helps with fighting different types of enemies. She’s also a skilled archer who can fight from a distance.

Uthgerd wears Steel Heavy Armor by default, but you can equip her with better gear simply by placing it in her inventory. Her main weapon is a Steel Greatsword, which can also be replaced. If you want to take advantage of those archery skills, place a bow in her inventory as well.

Recruiting Uthgerd as your steward is pretty easy. All you have to do is challenge her to a brawl and win. Once you win the brawl, you also have the option to marry her!

9/10

Erik the Slayer

Erik the Slayer is a Nord farmer who dreams of being an adventurer. Erik is a great choice for a steward because you only have to complete a short quest to recruit him. He’s also a skilled fighter and can help keep your homestead safe from invaders. 

Erik is a skilled Barbarian. His top skills are Two-Handed and Light Armor. He’s able to attack quickly because his armor doesn’t weigh him down, but still deals a solid amount of damage with his Two-Handed weapon. 

Keep in mind that he does carry a One-Handed sword by default, but you can upgrade him to a Two-Handed weapon by placing on in his inventory. You can also trade armor with Erik for better gear stats, but it helps to keep him in Light Armor to play to his strengths.

To recruit Erik the Slayer as a steward, you’ll first have to visit Rorikstead. Once there, speak to his father, Mralki, to convince him to let Erik follow his dreams. Once you’ve done this, he’ll purchase armor for Erik, and Erik will become available as a follower. You can then lead him to the property you want help managing and ask him to be your steward, thereby crushing his dreams of being an adventurer in Skyrim

8/10

Iona

Iona is a Nord Warrior and the housecarl for the Honeyside home in Riften. When you become Thane of Riften, she is appointed to you and can be found in the home waiting for you. Iona is a good steward because her Warrior skills help to defend your home in Skyrim

Iona is a skilled Warrior specializing in One-Handed weapon combat and Archery. She ranges from Level 10–50, and her main skills are One-Handed, Heavy Armor, Block, and Archery. This skill variety helps because Iona uses weapons situationally — she’ll change her weapons depending on whether she’s in melee or ranged combat.

Iona prefers Heavy Armor, and you can trade out her gear by placing new options in her inventory. Consider giving her weapons with enchantments that give her different buffs.

To recruit Iona as a steward for your Hearthfire home, you will have to become Thane of Riften and purchase Honeyside. You can find Iona waiting inside and ask her to follow the property you want her to help you manage. 

7/10

Valdimar

Valdimar is a Nord Sorcerer and the appointed steward for Winstad Manor. He is a fantastic choice for a steward because of his Destruction and Restoration magic, which he can use to protect your home and heal himself if he gets injured. He can also cast spells like Oakflesh or Stoneflesh to increase the strength of his armor in battle.

Valdimar’s Level ranges between Level 10–50. His main skills are One-Handed, Light Armor, Destruction magic, Alteration magic, and Restoration magic. All of this makes him a versatile Sorcerer with multiple abilities that help him defend your homestead.

As long as the weapon you place in Valdimar’s inventory is One-Handed and better than his current weapon, he will equip it. An enchanted One-Handed weapon is a good replacement for his current weapons, helping him do more damage to enemies. Since he does use Destruction, Alteration, and Restoration Magic, you can also enchant armor to buff his magic.

To recruit Valdimar as your steward, first become Thane of Hjaalmarch. You can then find him at Highmoon Hall in Morthal or wandering the property of Winstad Manor (if you purchased the deed). You can ask Valdimar to follow you to other Hearthfire homesteads if you want him to be your Steward there, instead. 

6/10

Illia

Illia is an Imperial Mage who the Dragonborn comes in contact with at Darklight Tower. She’s a powerful mage with both Destruction and Restoration magic, making her a great choice for a steward in Skyrim.

Illia’s Level ranges from 10–40, and her skills with Destruction and Restoration magic make her a fantastic Steward. She’s primarily an ice mage and uses a lot spells that involve Frost. These are useful because they can slow enemies, making it easier for her to kill them.

Illia wears Blue Mage Robes, but you can give her better gear if you’d like. You don’t need to give her a weapon, but enchanted rings and amulets are a great way to boost Illia’s abilities or give her a buff.   

To recruit Illia as a steward, you will have to help her eliminate her mother, who has joined the Hagraven coven. Completing the quest “Repentance” lets you make Illia a steward, and you can then ask her to follow you to any of the Hearthfire homes you want her to help you manage. 

5/10

Jordis the Sword-Maiden

Halfway through my list of the best stewards in Skyrim, I have Jordis the Sword-Maiden! Jordis is a Nord Warrior who is appointed to you as a housecarl for becoming Thane of Solitude. She’s a resilient warrior and a good choice for a steward if you want to keep your property safe. She can also be married if you want to have a spouse-steward.

Jordis’ Level ranges between 10–50. Her main skills are Heavy Armor, Archery, Block, and One-Handed, which make her a fantastic choice for defending your property.

Jordis wears Heavy Armor by default, but you can change her armor by placing your preference in her inventory. If you wish to give Jordis different weapons, she tends to prefer Ancient Nord weapons.

To recruit Jordis as your Steward, you will need to become Thane of Solitude. This involves completing a personal quest for the Jarl of Solitude and helping five citizens with their requests. If you have purchased Proudspire Manor, you can find Jordis waiting there. You can then ask her to follow you to the Hearthfire home you want her to help you manage. 

4/10

Aela the Huntress

Aela the Huntress is a Nord Thief and a member of the Companions. She’s a skilled archer and an overall great fighter to have defending your home, but that’s not all that makes her a great steward. Aela offers Lycanthropy after you progress far enough in the Companions, which lets you become a werewolf. You can also choose to marry her if you’re looking for a spouse.

Aela’s Level ranges between Level 8-50. Her main skills are Archery, Light Armor, and Sneak. Though Archery is her specialty, she’s also experienced in the One-Handed skill. She’s not good with a shield, however, so giving her one is not really helpful. 

Aela wears Ancient Nord armor by default, but you can equip her with anything that has a higher armor rating. It’s also a good idea to give her a better (or even enchanted) bow to make the most of that Archery proficiency.

To recruit Aela the Huntress, you will have to complete the Companions questline. She can then be asked to follow you to any of the Hearthfire DLC homes, where you can ask her to be a steward. 

3/10

Gregor

Gregor is a Nord Warrior that becomes your housecarl once you become Thane of the Pale. He’s a great option for a steward, as he can keep your home safe and help you manage your property. 

Gregor’s Level ranges from 10–50, and he’s skilled at One-Handed and Two-Handed weapons, as well as Archery. He’s also skilled in Heavy Armor, and wears it by default.

It’s a good idea to give Gregor better weapons and armor, though I recommend sticking with One-Handed weapons and Heavy Armor. He doesn’t have a bow by default, but you can place on in his inventory for him to use on occasion.

To recruit Gregor as a steward for your home, you will have to become Thane of the Pale. Simply complete the quest of the same name by speaking to the Jarl, who will either be Skald the Elder or Brina Merilis, depending on your progress on the Civil War quest. You must be Level 22 and have completed the quest “Waking Nightmare” and “Kill the Giant” quests before you can move forward. Once you’ve done so, you’ll get Gregor as a housecarl, and will be able to find him at the White Hall in Dawnstar, or wandering the Heljarchen Hall property. Then, simply ask him to follow you to another Hearthfire house or remain there.

2/10

Durak

Durak is an Orsimer Ranger and skilled archer, as well as a member of the Dawnguard. He joined the vampire-hunting faction to avenge his two wives, and will offer you a chance to join as well. He’s a great choice for a steward — if he can handle vampires, he can handle anything.

Durak’s main skills are Light Armor, Archery, One-Handed, and Block. He doesn’t have a level cap (unlike a lot of other followers), which makes him just about the best steward in Skyrim.

He wears Light Armor by default, but you can place better armor in his inventory if you wish to change it. Being a member of the Dawnguard means that he uniquely wields a crossbow, but you can give him a stronger or enchanted bow as you see fit. He can also use One-Handed weapons if you want to give him a close-range option.

To recruit Durak as a steward, you will have to join the Dawnguard and complete the quest “The Prophet.” For this quest, you will have to find a Moth Priest to help Isran read the Elder Scroll Serana brought with her to Fort Dawnguard. Once this has been completed, Durak can be asked to follow you and you can lead him to your Hearthfire home. Once at the home, you can ask him to become your steward. 

1/10

Lydia

Now for my definitive pick for the best steward in Skyrim, who is surprisingly one of the first options you get. Lydia is a Nord Warrior who becomes your housecarl in Whiterun when you become Thane, which happens pretty early in the game. Lydia is a fantastic steward because of her ability to defend your homestead with her many skills. You can also marry her if you want a spouse-steward.

Lydia’s Level ranges from 6–50, and she can be quite strong if given the right armor and weapons. Her main skills are Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Blocking, and Archery.

Lydia wears Steel Armor by default, but you can give her stronger armor if you wish. She uses a Two-Handed sword that she alternates with a bow at range, and has an infinite supply of Iron Arrows that can’t be removed from her inventory. That said, you can give her better ammo options, as well as better swords and bows. You can also give her enchanted jewelry to enhance her skills.

To recruit Lydia as a Steward, you will have to become Thane of Whiterun by making your way to Whiterun after escaping Helgen. Assist the Jarl with the quest “Dragon Rising,” which you’ll need to do to advance the main story, anyway. Doing so makes you Thane of Whiterun and lets you appoint Lydia as a housecarl, follower, steward, or spouse.

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